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Why is Economics so Political?

slo1
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7/8/2013 8:23:32 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
I read a Bloomberg editorial that was very well written. In my younger years I would have took it, hook, line, and sinker. The premise was that the recession and lack of growth after the official end of the recession is due to supply side.

The old build it and it will be bought argument. As in most econ theory there is a tidbit of truth in it, but this guy incompletely ignores the fact that as companies increase supply profit margin goes down, as a result supply side economics has a diminishing return just like any other theory on increasing economic activity.

It just seems so blatant that in today's economics one must pick a side, justify it at all costs, and support it rather than realizing that all economical theories are woefully inadequate to take in all variables to give an optimal path to growth?

In other terms, is it possible that a mixture of policies and theory would produce the best results? IE:
1. Decrease business tax rates.
2. Gov spending cuts where waste is found.
3. Increase gov spending in areas which can spur technology and knowledge, which in turn can be used by private business.
4. Decrease tax rate for all (Temporarily)

The problem is that we play right into the economist/politicians hand and pick a side. We maintain the status quo which is in short is a continued gross oversimplification of complex economic systems rather than an complex system which allows for changing and different conditions.
DanT
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7/8/2013 11:56:17 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
The same reason Climatology was politicized by the green movement, and archeology was politicized by national socialists. The political agendas overlap.

Economics and Politics are sciences. Political science is a branch of social science that studies the social relations involving power and authority, especially in regards to government. Economics is a social science that studies the production, consumption, and transfer of wealth within society. Naturally they will tend to overlap.
"Chemical weapons are no different than any other types of weapons."~Lordknukle
Mexecutive
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7/9/2013 7:47:56 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
As my father would say, "money is power." And by controlling money, you get power. Nothing can be further from the truth. That's why corruption is endemic to any society, save for a handful.
John
wrichcirw
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7/9/2013 11:52:29 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
To answer the title of the question:

Political considerations trump economic considerations.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
slo1
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7/10/2013 8:16:33 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Thanks for the posts.

The fundamental problem is that it is being treated as a social science rather than a pure science.

Underlining that is the fact that it is impossible to hold a politician or economist accountable to their stance because they will all be right at sometime and they will all be wrong sometime.

Throw in countless variables that one can throw out there to defend or attack a position when in reality nobody has taken the time to model how all the variables interact with each other.

In short macro economics has become so political because everyone is too lazy to care about uncovering the truth and as a result everyone gets the cover of ambiguity and gross simplification.

There ought to be a school that is purely based upon empirical data and developing sophisticated models.
DanT
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7/10/2013 11:47:02 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/10/2013 8:16:33 AM, slo1 wrote:
Thanks for the posts.

The fundamental problem is that it is being treated as a social science rather than a pure science.

Pure science????
Social science is a subgroup of science that deals with the study of human society and social relationships.

Underlining that is the fact that it is impossible to hold a politician or economist accountable to their stance because they will all be right at sometime and they will all be wrong sometime.

Not true.

Throw in countless variables that one can throw out there to defend or attack a position when in reality nobody has taken the time to model how all the variables interact with each other.


Wow, you should not be in the economics section.

The Laffer curve is a model that explains the relationship between taxation and tax revenue.

There is also the popular supply and demand model.
The Demand function explains the relationship between demand and price
The Supply function explains the relationship between supply and price.

Models and equations are used to support every economic claim.

In short macro economics has become so political because everyone is too lazy to care about uncovering the truth and as a result everyone gets the cover of ambiguity and gross simplification.

Macro-economics analyzes aggregates, whereas micro-economics analyzes the market behavior of individual consumers and firms.
There ought to be a school that is purely based upon empirical data and developing sophisticated models.

They all do.
"Chemical weapons are no different than any other types of weapons."~Lordknukle
wrichcirw
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7/10/2013 11:49:30 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/10/2013 8:16:33 AM, slo1 wrote:
Thanks for the posts.

There ought to be a school that is purely based upon empirical data and developing sophisticated models.

This is exactly what academic economists attempt to do.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
slo1
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7/12/2013 7:41:22 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/10/2013 11:47:02 AM, DanT wrote:
At 7/10/2013 8:16:33 AM, slo1 wrote:
Thanks for the posts.

The fundamental problem is that it is being treated as a social science rather than a pure science.

Pure science????
Social science is a subgroup of science that deals with the study of human society and social relationships.

Underlining that is the fact that it is impossible to hold a politician or economist accountable to their stance because they will all be right at sometime and they will all be wrong sometime.

Not true.
As one example how else do you explain the concept that under the second George Bush, we had the longest consecutive quarters of 3% or higher growth in history and the largest percentage of home ownership ever while at the same time we had the largest budget deficits in $ terms in history at that point and all the positives such as home ownership & 3% growth were clearly unsustainable?

You are nuts if you think politicians are being held accountable for their economic decisions. Our economic models are not even sophisticated enough to assign proper blame.

The masses typically blame who is currently in office at the time economic troubles hit, which may or may not have anything to do with who or what caused the trouble.

Remember GWB's "jobless recovery" and all the hyperbole around that? The guy cut taxes and increased government spending for goodness sakes, what more could he have done to create jobs other than hire people to do nothing? Of course on the other hand, all that and more contributed to the credit bubble that exploded into the Great Recession.

Politicians are not held accountable to their financial decisions properly because economics has not progressed enough to truly understand policy decsions and what is good versus bad.


Throw in countless variables that one can throw out there to defend or attack a position when in reality nobody has taken the time to model how all the variables interact with each other.


Wow, you should not be in the economics section.

The Laffer curve is a model that explains the relationship between taxation and tax revenue.


You missed the entire point. The Laffer curve is exactly what is wrong with economics today. It is a ONE independent variable and ONE dependent variable concept. Not only is it a gross oversimplification, its only use is for expressing a general concept. In context it was a concept used by supply side economists in Regan's administration to justify their economic policy. If there is one thing we can agree on it is the fact that supply side economics is still a hotly contested theory in economics. Why is that?

There is also the popular supply and demand model.
The Demand function explains the relationship between demand and price
The Supply function explains the relationship between supply and price.

Models and equations are used to support every economic claim.

In short macro economics has become so political because everyone is too lazy to care about uncovering the truth and as a result everyone gets the cover of ambiguity and gross simplification.

Macro-economics analyzes aggregates, whereas micro-economics analyzes the market behavior of individual consumers and firms.
There ought to be a school that is purely based upon empirical data and developing sophisticated models.

They all do.
Please share some of the existing sophisticated models that exist.

You can say that I don't belong in economics, but in reality economics needs people like me who can wake it up and take out all the assumptions and opinion out of it. That of course will not happen until those who are trained in this non-scientific arena need to change their entire approach to economics.

You may mock me, but is not all leading thought mocked by those with following thought.
slo1
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7/12/2013 7:53:32 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/10/2013 11:49:30 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 7/10/2013 8:16:33 AM, slo1 wrote:
Thanks for the posts.

There ought to be a school that is purely based upon empirical data and developing sophisticated models.

This is exactly what academic economists attempt to do.

Many of the economists in academia are extremely political. Economics does not even have a shared agreed upon standard of when empirical data is robust enough to accept.

Even when it is clear I don't see economists changing their minds unlike a hard science where scientists are obligated to abandon theory which becomes proven wrong or become a laughing stock.
DanT
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7/12/2013 11:38:54 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/12/2013 7:53:32 AM, slo1 wrote:
At 7/10/2013 11:49:30 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 7/10/2013 8:16:33 AM, slo1 wrote:
Thanks for the posts.

There ought to be a school that is purely based upon empirical data and developing sophisticated models.

This is exactly what academic economists attempt to do.

Many of the economists in academia are extremely political. Economics does not even have a shared agreed upon standard of when empirical data is robust enough to accept.

I don't think you understand what science is. There is never a scientific consensus. My grandfather was a scientist for NASA, and like Einstein, he did not believe in black holes.

My grandfather wrote a well known article titled "An Alternative Explanation of the Cosmological Redshift".

The only time you hear the term "Scientific consensus" is when science has been politicized.

Even when it is clear I don't see economists changing their minds unlike a hard science where scientists are obligated to abandon theory which becomes proven wrong or become a laughing stock.

Scientists are not obliged to abandon a heterodox theory. Science is all about questioning what you know, or what you think you know. Just because the mainstream community says the world is flat, does not mean a scientist must accept this orthodox hypothesis.

If an economic theory is inapplicable than it is not generally used. The theory may become applicable in the future, once more information comes to light.

Unless the theory is proven wrong (not the same as inapplicable), it cannot be discarded.

When there are 2 conflicting theories, Occam's razor is used to determine which is right.

John Maynard Keynes originally believed in the Quantity Theory of Money, but later abandoned the theory in favor of the liquidity trap. There are now two schools of thought; those who favor the quantity theory of money, and those who favor the Keynesian liquidity trap.
"Chemical weapons are no different than any other types of weapons."~Lordknukle
wrichcirw
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7/12/2013 12:02:28 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/12/2013 7:53:32 AM, slo1 wrote:
At 7/10/2013 11:49:30 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 7/10/2013 8:16:33 AM, slo1 wrote:
Thanks for the posts.

There ought to be a school that is purely based upon empirical data and developing sophisticated models.

This is exactly what academic economists attempt to do.

Many of the economists in academia are extremely political. Economics does not even have a shared agreed upon standard of when empirical data is robust enough to accept.

I would argue that academia in general is extremely political to include the natural sciences, especially when it becomes subject to funding concerns, or when funding becomes political (global warming for example). What differentiates economics from the natural sciences in this regard is that economics are always political, whereas it is possible that significant research on natural sciences be divorced from politicking and be wholly privately funded. That will never be true of economics.

On "robust data" one could easily argue the same for natural sciences.

Even when it is clear I don't see economists changing their minds unlike a hard science where scientists are obligated to abandon theory which becomes proven wrong or become a laughing stock.

I agree with DanT's comment on this, which was quite cogent. If he argues like that on a more consistent basis, it may actually be somewhat less painful than pulling teeth - and dare I say pleasurable - to read what he has to say.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
darkkermit
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7/12/2013 12:03:06 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
The quantity theory of money is a prior true based on definition, and I don't see how the liquidity trap model contradicts or is inconsistent with the quantity theory of money.

I suppose the real controversy is how much v, the velocity of money, plays a factor. However, milton Friedman's work generally proved the idea that the consumer price index is very strongly correlated with Money/(Quantity of goods and services). Although this still doesn't prove that inflation is a monetary phenomena, since inflation can also be caused through a decrease in the quantity of goods and services available (Also known as cost-push inflation).
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DanT
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7/12/2013 12:34:03 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/12/2013 12:03:06 PM, darkkermit wrote:
The quantity theory of money is a prior true based on definition, and I don't see how the liquidity trap model contradicts or is inconsistent with the quantity theory of money.

The Liquidity Preference Theory states that the monetary demand is determined by a Liquidity Preference as opposed to the Time Preference of the discount function.

During the hypothetical liquidity trap, an increase in the monetary supply would have no impact on Output or Prices, which is in contrast to the quantity theory of money.
The quantity theory of money states that there is a direct relationship between the quantity of money and nominal output.

The quantity theory of money states that Money x Velocity = Price x Output

I suppose the real controversy is how much v, the velocity of money, plays a factor. However, milton Friedman's work generally proved the idea that the consumer price index is very strongly correlated with Money/(Quantity of goods and services). Although this still doesn't prove that inflation is a monetary phenomena, since inflation can also be caused through a decrease in the quantity of goods and services available (Also known as cost-push inflation).

The quantity theory of money states;

infaltion = % Change in Money + % change in Velocity - % change in Output

Everything else remaining constant, if output decreases than prices increase. The quantity theory of money explains cost push inflation.
"Chemical weapons are no different than any other types of weapons."~Lordknukle
CarefulNow
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7/13/2013 5:54:35 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/8/2013 8:23:32 AM, slo1 wrote:
1. Decrease business tax rates.
2. Gov spending cuts where waste is found.
3. Increase gov spending in areas which can spur technology and knowledge, which in turn can be used by private business.

This fair and balanced mixture is 100% supply side. Basically, you want business to be liberated from providing revenue even as it receives increased handouts in the form of R+D. And presumably the latter would not fall into the category of government waste, though it's wasted on growth for growth's sake.

4. Decrease tax rate for all (Temporarily)

Indeed, voters have proven always vulnerable to the "are you better off now than you were four years ago" attack, thus making truly temporary tax cuts impossible. But Keynesian politicians nonetheless act as if their successors, come prosperity, will not only also be Keynesians, but will suddenly have the political will to effectively increase taxes accordingly.
slo1
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7/13/2013 10:25:07 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/12/2013 11:38:54 AM, DanT wrote:
At 7/12/2013 7:53:32 AM, slo1 wrote:
At 7/10/2013 11:49:30 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 7/10/2013 8:16:33 AM, slo1 wrote:
Thanks for the posts.

There ought to be a school that is purely based upon empirical data and developing sophisticated models.

This is exactly what academic economists attempt to do.

Many of the economists in academia are extremely political. Economics does not even have a shared agreed upon standard of when empirical data is robust enough to accept.

I don't think you understand what science is. There is never a scientific consensus. My grandfather was a scientist for NASA, and like Einstein, he did not believe in black holes.

I understand what science is and I never stated that there is full scientific consensus on everything.

My grandfather wrote a well known article titled "An Alternative Explanation of the Cosmological Redshift".

The only time you hear the term "Scientific consensus" is when science has been politicized.

Using your example, it would be very difficult for you to make a rational argument that the existence of Black Holes has been politicized since there is a majority consensus that they exist.

The reason this consensus exists is because indirect evidence exists that massive objects exist that do not give off any radiation other than radiation from their accretion disk and it is more massive than a neutron star or other known objects. Sure, that does not mean that it is not a giant potato rather than a black hole, but the hard sciences have much better standards of obtaining consensus than economics does. It is not unreasonable for me to wish for higher standards in the economic arena.


Even when it is clear I don't see economists changing their minds unlike a hard science where scientists are obligated to abandon theory which becomes proven wrong or become a laughing stock.

Scientists are not obliged to abandon a heterodox theory. Science is all about questioning what you know, or what you think you know. Just because the mainstream community says the world is flat, does not mean a scientist must accept this orthodox hypothesis.

If an economic theory is inapplicable than it is not generally used. The theory may become applicable in the future, once more information comes to light.

Unless the theory is proven wrong (not the same as inapplicable), it cannot be discarded.

When there are 2 conflicting theories, Occam's razor is used to determine which is right.

John Maynard Keynes originally believed in the Quantity Theory of Money, but later abandoned the theory in favor of the liquidity trap. There are now two schools of thought; those who favor the quantity theory of money, and those who favor the Keynesian liquidity trap.

An how does the Austrian Schools feel about both of those theories?

Here is what it comes down to. All the different economic schools of thought would have no hope to come together and even create a standard at which they could gather information to test and validate the quantity theory of money. Until they can even agree on how to test and evaluate the various theories, it will not progress from here.
CanWeKnow
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7/14/2013 10:55:13 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/13/2013 10:25:07 PM, slo1 wrote:


Here is what it comes down to. All the different economic schools of thought would have no hope to come together and even create a standard at which they could gather information to test and validate the quantity theory of money. Until they can even agree on how to test and evaluate the various theories, it will not progress from here.

How do you see them testing these theories? There is no *testing economic theory accurately besides putting it into practice.

Maybe we could have a supercomputer try and simulate an economy, but it would be extremely hard to make it account for every factor. As far as I know, we have no such system.
DanT
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7/15/2013 12:09:57 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/13/2013 10:25:07 PM, slo1 wrote:
At 7/12/2013 11:38:54 AM, DanT wrote:
At 7/12/2013 7:53:32 AM, slo1 wrote:
At 7/10/2013 11:49:30 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 7/10/2013 8:16:33 AM, slo1 wrote:
Thanks for the posts.

There ought to be a school that is purely based upon empirical data and developing sophisticated models.

This is exactly what academic economists attempt to do.

Many of the economists in academia are extremely political. Economics does not even have a shared agreed upon standard of when empirical data is robust enough to accept.

I don't think you understand what science is. There is never a scientific consensus. My grandfather was a scientist for NASA, and like Einstein, he did not believe in black holes.

I understand what science is and I never stated that there is full scientific consensus on everything.

My grandfather wrote a well known article titled "An Alternative Explanation of the Cosmological Redshift".

The only time you hear the term "Scientific consensus" is when science has been politicized.

Using your example, it would be very difficult for you to make a rational argument that the existence of Black Holes has been politicized since there is a majority consensus that they exist.

Tell that to Albert Einstein
The reason this consensus exists is because indirect evidence exists that massive objects exist that do not give off any radiation other than radiation from their accretion disk and it is more massive than a neutron star or other known objects. Sure, that does not mean that it is not a giant potato rather than a black hole, but the hard sciences have much better standards of obtaining consensus than economics does.
It is not unreasonable for me to wish for higher standards in the economic arena.


There is no such thing as a scientific consensus. That is a fallacy.
Even when it is clear I don't see economists changing their minds unlike a hard science where scientists are obligated to abandon theory which becomes proven wrong or become a laughing stock.

Scientists are not obliged to abandon a heterodox theory. Science is all about questioning what you know, or what you think you know. Just because the mainstream community says the world is flat, does not mean a scientist must accept this orthodox hypothesis.

If an economic theory is inapplicable than it is not generally used. The theory may become applicable in the future, once more information comes to light.

Unless the theory is proven wrong (not the same as inapplicable), it cannot be discarded.

When there are 2 conflicting theories, Occam's razor is used to determine which is right.

John Maynard Keynes originally believed in the Quantity Theory of Money, but later abandoned the theory in favor of the liquidity trap. There are now two schools of thought; those who favor the quantity theory of money, and those who favor the Keynesian liquidity trap.

An how does the Austrian Schools feel about both of those theories?

The Austrian school favors the quantity theory of money.
Here is what it comes down to. All the different economic schools of thought would have no hope to come together and even create a standard at which they could gather information to test and validate the quantity theory of money. Until they can even agree on how to test and evaluate the various theories, it will not progress from here.

The theories can and are being tested. Economists collect statistical data and testing their models against real world data.
"Chemical weapons are no different than any other types of weapons."~Lordknukle
darkkermit
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7/15/2013 12:29:08 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/12/2013 12:34:03 PM, DanT wrote:
At 7/12/2013 12:03:06 PM, darkkermit wrote:
The quantity theory of money is a prior true based on definition, and I don't see how the liquidity trap model contradicts or is inconsistent with the quantity theory of money.

The Liquidity Preference Theory states that the monetary demand is determined by a Liquidity Preference as opposed to the Time Preference of the discount function.
.
Okay. Agreed

During the hypothetical liquidity trap, an increase in the monetary supply would have no impact on Output or Prices, which is in contrast to the quantity theory of money.

Well, it would just mean that the velocity of money decreased, which is perfectly consist with the quantity theory of money. Like I said, it's a priori tru.

The quantity theory of money states that there is a direct relationship between the quantity of money and nominal output.

The quantity theory of money states that Money x Velocity = Price x Output

Yes, and money can increase, without prices or output increases, if velocity decreases.

It should also be noted that during quantity easing, that only the monetary base is increasing, not m1 or m2, which can only increase through the banks lending out money.



I suppose the real controversy is how much v, the velocity of money, plays a factor. However, milton Friedman's work generally proved the idea that the consumer price index is very strongly correlated with Money/(Quantity of goods and services). Although this still doesn't prove that inflation is a monetary phenomena, since inflation can also be caused through a decrease in the quantity of goods and services available (Also known as cost-push inflation).

The quantity theory of money states;

infaltion = % Change in Money + % change in Velocity - % change in Output

Everything else remaining constant, if output decreases than prices increase. The quantity theory of money explains cost push inflation.

I agree. My point is that one can not say that inflation is a monetary phenomena since changes in output effect inflation as well.
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DanT
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7/15/2013 10:39:25 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/15/2013 12:29:08 AM, darkkermit wrote:
At 7/12/2013 12:34:03 PM, DanT wrote:
At 7/12/2013 12:03:06 PM, darkkermit wrote:
The quantity theory of money is a prior true based on definition, and I don't see how the liquidity trap model contradicts or is inconsistent with the quantity theory of money.

The Liquidity Preference Theory states that the monetary demand is determined by a Liquidity Preference as opposed to the Time Preference of the discount function.
.
Okay. Agreed

During the hypothetical liquidity trap, an increase in the monetary supply would have no impact on Output or Prices, which is in contrast to the quantity theory of money.

Well, it would just mean that the velocity of money decreased, which is perfectly consist with the quantity theory of money. Like I said, it's a priori tru.

It is not consistent with the quantity theory of money. According to the quantity theory of money;

Velocity = Nominal Output / Money

If output and Money remain constant, than the velocity cannot increase.

The quantity theory of money states that there is a direct relationship between the quantity of money and nominal output.

The quantity theory of money states that Money x Velocity = Price x Output

Yes, and money can increase, without prices or output increases, if velocity decreases.

If money and output remains unchanged than the velocity cannot change. For this reason the velocity is assumed constant when calculating inflation.

Velocity = nominal output / money

It should also be noted that during quantity easing, that only the monetary base is increasing, not m1 or m2,

Prolonged QE does.
which can only increase through the banks lending out money.

Not true.

The monetary Supply = Cash + Deposits
The monetary base = Cash + Reserves

If cash increases, both the monetary base and monetary supply increases.



I suppose the real controversy is how much v, the velocity of money, plays a factor. However, milton Friedman's work generally proved the idea that the consumer price index is very strongly correlated with Money/(Quantity of goods and services). Although this still doesn't prove that inflation is a monetary phenomena, since inflation can also be caused through a decrease in the quantity of goods and services available (Also known as cost-push inflation).

The quantity theory of money states;

infaltion = % Change in Money + % change in Velocity - % change in Output

Everything else remaining constant, if output decreases than prices increase. The quantity theory of money explains cost push inflation.

I agree. My point is that one can not say that inflation is a monetary phenomena since changes in output effect inflation as well.

>.< It is a monetary phenomenon because inflation depends on changes in money relative to changes in output. Inflation is the change in price, and the price is quantified by the medium of exchange aka money.
"Chemical weapons are no different than any other types of weapons."~Lordknukle
Stephen_Hawkins
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7/15/2013 11:36:17 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/10/2013 11:49:30 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 7/10/2013 8:16:33 AM, slo1 wrote:
Thanks for the posts.

There ought to be a school that is purely based upon empirical data and developing sophisticated models.

This is exactly what academic economists attempt to do.

Austrian economists tend to spurn econometrics due to it's uncanny ability to condemn Austrian models. Moreover, many believe that there are too many variables to create a ceteris paribus set of cases for now to run an economy based on empiricism.
Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to be Gay, he'll positively influence the GDP.

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DanT
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7/15/2013 12:23:07 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/15/2013 11:36:17 AM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
At 7/10/2013 11:49:30 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 7/10/2013 8:16:33 AM, slo1 wrote:
Thanks for the posts.

There ought to be a school that is purely based upon empirical data and developing sophisticated models.

This is exactly what academic economists attempt to do.

Austrian economists tend to spurn econometrics due to it's uncanny ability to condemn Austrian models. Moreover, many believe that there are too many variables to create a ceteris paribus set of cases for now to run an economy based on empiricism.

Not true. Austrians believe there are too many unknown variables to direct the economy, but they do use historical analysis and empirical evidence to verify models. Austrians believe that economics does not behave the same way as physical science. That is to say economics is much more complicated than figuring out at what point water boils.

For example; the point at which the Marginal Product of Labor is maximized depends on the function of capital. That is to say, assuming capital remains constant, you can only increase labor to a certain point before you need to increase capital. This holding true, the function of capital may vary depending on the nature of capital. Just because capital increases does not mean the marginal product of capital increases, because the capital may serve no meaningful function in regards to production.

The Austrian schools recognizes that in science you need to be exact, and because of the unknown variables it is impossible to direct the economy.
"Chemical weapons are no different than any other types of weapons."~Lordknukle
CarefulNow
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7/15/2013 4:53:25 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/15/2013 12:23:07 PM, DanT wrote:
Not true. Austrians believe there are too many unknown variables to direct the economy, but they do use historical analysis and empirical evidence to verify models. Austrians believe that economics does not behave the same way as physical science. That is to say economics is much more complicated than figuring out at what point water boils.

First of all, the unknown variables must not be of much consequence if they don't interfere with the consistent verification of your models (unless your models are just "economics be crazy").

Secondly, it's not at all clear that the solution to uncertainty is nonintervention. To use your example, humans were boiling water and often depending on doing long before the relevant equation and variables were known. Presumably, you wouldn't have suggested a moratorium on boiling, perhaps a reliance instead on the rare natural occurrence of hot springs, until the science caught up. So it's odd that you propose as a response to general economic ignorance a reliance on a subset of the ignorant, the uncoordinated capitalists, to provide by accident of self-interest what those advantaged by intention cannot.
DanT
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7/15/2013 6:12:34 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/15/2013 4:53:25 PM, CarefulNow wrote:
At 7/15/2013 12:23:07 PM, DanT wrote:
Not true. Austrians believe there are too many unknown variables to direct the economy, but they do use historical analysis and empirical evidence to verify models. Austrians believe that economics does not behave the same way as physical science. That is to say economics is much more complicated than figuring out at what point water boils.

First of all, the unknown variables must not be of much consequence if they don't interfere with the consistent verification of your models (unless your models are just "economics be crazy").

There is a major difference between analyzing the past and predicting the future. When analyzing past events it is easier to identify the unknown variables.

Secondly, it's not at all clear that the solution to uncertainty is nonintervention. To use your example, humans were boiling water and often depending on doing long before the relevant equation and variables were known.
Which resulted in deadweight losses due to over and under-boiling. It was through trial and error that we found the appropriate temp to boil water.
With the economy it is not as simple, because the variables change so frequently. It would be as if water boils at 212 degrees last month, 250 degrees this month, and 175 degrees next month.

Presumably, you wouldn't have suggested a moratorium on boiling, perhaps a reliance instead on the rare natural occurrence of hot springs, until the science caught up. So it's odd that you propose as a response to general economic ignorance a reliance on a subset of the ignorant, the uncoordinated capitalists, to provide by accident of self-interest what those advantaged by intention cannot.

The invisible hand states that when individuals act in their own interest, they benefit society more than if someone tried to direct the economy. The reason being is that both parties, the consumer and the producer, must willingly enter into the exchange. By doing so, they maximize the prosperity of both parties, as both parties are satisfied. The more transactions there are, the more prosperity is created. A greater volume of transactions creates a greater variety of products. Instead of purchasing from the butcher, you could opt the buy food from the baker instead. Competition creates variety.

In regards to the supply and demand model, the greater the supply the more competition there is amongst producers. This competition causes prices to drop. The greater the demand, the more consumers there are. The competition amongst consumers causes prices to rise. This is a very observable phenomenon; it is self-evident, even to those who know nothing of economics.
"Chemical weapons are no different than any other types of weapons."~Lordknukle
CarefulNow
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7/16/2013 2:27:16 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/15/2013 6:12:34 PM, DanT wrote:
There is a major difference between analyzing the past and predicting the future. When analyzing past events it is easier to identify the unknown variables.

Oh, so only the strictly historical models have been verified, not those such as the invisible hand, which prescribe future policy.

Which resulted in deadweight losses due to over and under-boiling. It was through trial and error that we found the appropriate temp to boil water.

But the boiling of water's usefulness wasn't limited to its service to our knowledge of boiling points. The latter was not it's purpose, after all, and the deadweight losses would have been an acceptable cost even if they'd persisted to the present day.

With the economy it is not as simple, because the variables change so frequently. It would be as if water boils at 212 degrees last month, 250 degrees this month, and 175 degrees next month.

But market actors confront that same volatility. Even when the central government refuses to get its hands dirty, businesses are out there committing resources to the creation of jobs that might not match the size or qualifications of the eventual labor market, and products that consumers may no longer want when they reach the shelf; students are preparing for careers that might not be in demand when they graduate, and families are buying houses they might not be able to pay off for thirty years continuously. So your prescription for idleness in case of uncertainty is evidently reserved for the challengers of property absolutism.

The invisible hand states that when individuals act in their own interest, they benefit society more than if someone tried to direct the economy. The reason being is that both parties, the consumer and the producer, must willingly enter into the exchange. By doing so, they maximize the prosperity of both parties, as both parties are satisfied. The more transactions there are, the more prosperity is created. A greater volume of transactions creates a greater variety of products. Instead of purchasing from the butcher, you could opt the buy food from the baker instead. Competition creates variety.

From self-interested action to mutual consent to mutual satisfaction to maximal social prosperity; from undirected transactions to frequent transactions to competition to variety. These are compound non sequiturs. I might in fact be coerced by a self-interested actor of superior might, consent despite my dissatisfaction with the artificial inequities that make it rational to consent, or suffer consequences despite failing to fall into one of the artificial categories "the producer" and "the consumer" at all; I might in fact be directed to transact, I might transact with my competitor so as to cease competing, and I might compete for standardization as in a patent war.

In regards to the supply and demand model, the greater the supply the more competition there is amongst producers. This competition causes prices to drop. The greater the demand, the more consumers there are. The competition amongst consumers causes prices to rise. This is a very observable phenomenon; it is self-evident, even to those who know nothing of economics.

Your conclusions are correct, but your explanation is off. Greater supply or demand doesn't necessarily increase the number of producers or consumers; it changes price because it effects surplus or shortage of product. In any case, your point is unclear. Yes, supply side's lower prices partially mitigate its concentration of that other component of purchasing power, nominal income, in the hands of sellers; however, I didn't think we'd reached the sentencing phase yet.
slo1
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7/19/2013 10:21:43 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/15/2013 12:09:57 AM, DanT wrote:

Tell that to Albert Einstein

Do you honestly believe in your heart of hearts that Einstein would have ignored the empirical data supporting black holes that has come out since Albert Einstein died in 1955?

You are projecting your own argument on a guy who demonstrated more than a willingness to change his mind as new data and theory came out.

The guy was a scientist not an economist.
FREEDO
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7/20/2013 4:06:13 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/19/2013 10:21:43 AM, slo1 wrote:
Do you honestly believe in your heart of hearts that Einstein would have ignored the empirical data supporting black holes that has come out since Albert Einstein died in 1955?

You are projecting your own argument on a guy who demonstrated more than a willingness to change his mind as new data and theory came out.

The guy was a scientist not an economist.

Win.
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

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DanT
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7/20/2013 10:14:50 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/19/2013 10:21:43 AM, slo1 wrote:
At 7/15/2013 12:09:57 AM, DanT wrote:

Tell that to Albert Einstein

Do you honestly believe in your heart of hearts that Einstein would have ignored the empirical data supporting black holes that has come out since Albert Einstein died in 1955?

Yes, I believe Einstein would still have believed black holes to be hogwash.

http://www.nature.com...

The guy was a scientist not an economist.

Economics is a science, and Einstein was a theoretical physicist. Both economists and theoretical physicists use similar approaches to their scientific fields.
"Chemical weapons are no different than any other types of weapons."~Lordknukle
Caninope
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7/24/2013 5:35:42 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/12/2013 7:41:22 AM, slo1 wrote:
You missed the entire point. The Laffer curve is exactly what is wrong with economics today. It is a ONE independent variable and ONE dependent variable concept.
Because that happens to be exactly how science works. "Pure science" does exactly what you just lambasted. However, while that model does indeed use one independent variable to one dependent variable (and is thus the basis of all other models), there are more sophistication models.

If there is one thing we can agree on it is the fact that supply side economics is still a hotly contested theory in economics. Why is that?
It depends on what you mean when you say "supply-side economics". If you mean the Laffer curve, in and of itself, most economists would agree that it exists. If you ask them about the shape of it, they'll disagree. If you ask them about where a country is on the curve, they'll disagree.

Please share some of the existing sophisticated models that exist.
There are so many, honestly. Within financial microeconomics, we have the Black-Scholes forumla. One could consider the Lucas aggregate supply function as "sophisticated". One could certainly refer to the econometric models of the Congressional Budget Office as sophisticated.
Caninope
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7/24/2013 5:38:10 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/12/2013 7:53:32 AM, slo1 wrote:
Many of the economists in academia are extremely political. Economics does not even have a shared agreed upon standard of when empirical data is robust enough to accept.
Does "hard science" have that? The truth is that hard science doesn't always have that, either.

Even when it is clear I don't see economists changing their minds unlike a hard science where scientists are obligated to abandon theory which becomes proven wrong or become a laughing stock.
Except that economists do indeed change their minds, from time to time. It has happened, and will continue to happen. You also seem to be overestimating hard scientists and their tendency to change. The most famous example of stubborn behavior from a physicist is, of course, Albert Einstein, who refused to accept quantum mechanics even though his work paved the road for the theory.